Last Updated: Monday, 20 November 2017, 16:41 GMT

U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2002 - Peru

Publisher United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Publication Date 10 June 2002
Cite as United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2002 - Peru , 10 June 2002, available at: [accessed 21 November 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

At the end of 2001, Peru hosted about 750 refugees, mostly Cubans, former Yugoslavs, and Iranians. Peru is a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention and has legislation that provides for the granting of refugee status.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, a violent insurgency by the Communist Party of Peru, or "Shining Path," and a harsh government counterinsurgency campaign ravaged Peru. The conflict left some 25,000 people dead and displaced about 430,000 others, but affected as many as 1.2 million other civilians, according to Peru's Mesa Nacional sobre Desplazamiento (National Roundtable on Displacement), a consortium of nongovernmental organizations.

By 1994, the Shining Path insurgents had lost much of their strength, and between 1995 and 2001, violence was minimal in most areas. A Peruvian government agency, the Program to Support the Repopulation (PAR), assisted about 20,000 displaced people in returning home between 1994 and 2000. Thousands of other displaced people returned home by their own means during that period.

In 1999, a study conducted by the Mesa concluded that approximately 80 percent of the 350,000 displaced persons who had not returned home were permanently settled in their new locations. The Mesa said that many "no longer want to be called displaced," but the consortium nevertheless still categorized them as displaced, believing that they still required special attention and assistance from the government.

In late 2000, the Peruvian government folded the PAR into the Ministry for Women and Human Development. According to the government, PAR's new focus was to promote the political, social, and economic rights of people who were affected by the conflict. In 2001, only 65 formerly displaced persons sought PAR assistance to return to their areas of origin.

In 2001, renewed Shining Path activity reportedly caused occasional displacement of indigenous Ashaninka people in remote jungle areas. However, there were no indications that this displacement was permanent.

Although the U.S. Committee for Refugees (USCR) still listed 60,000 persons as internally displaced in 2000, by the end of 2001 it was clear that this population had integrated into the areas in which they lived. Although many among this population continue to seek reparations for past losses or additional assistance to help them better integrate, their reasons for not returning home are no longer directly linked to the conflict and abuses that forced them to flee, but to economic and social considerations. Therefore, as of the end of 2001, USCR no longer considered them to be internally displaced.

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